The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly held a team meeting Monday during which they aired grievances with one another, and Kevin Love apparently received the lion’s share of the blame for Cleveland’s struggles.
That makes zero sense to Scott Ferrall, and it makes zero sense to Andy Baskin.
“Blaming Kevin is like blaming the court; it’s just stupid,” Cleveland’s The Fan host said on Ferrall on the Bench. “He left with a migraine the other day that was checked out by one of the team officials. The fact that they were yelling at him is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. If they were going to air it out, they should air it out at J.R. Smith, who Cavs fans want to root for.”
That, however, has been difficult. Smith played 29 minutes in Cleveland’s 114-102 loss to San Antonio on Tuesday – and scored exactly zero points.
“He sucks,” Baskin said. “He’s playing horrible. Jae Crowder hasn’t done anything since he’s come to the Cavaliers. They’re a mess. Ty Lue is putting horrible combinations on the floor. I don’t know why they won’t play Channing Frye. When the guy plays 11 or more minutes, they’re 16-1, but yet he wants to force Tristan Thompson out on the floor – and when Tristan plays, they’re 8-16. What is going on? They’re a wreck, they’re not coming up with the right combinations, the guys are pointing the finger at each other – but they should be pointing the finger at themselves.”
Love, meanwhile, is an All-Star averaging 18.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists and is shooting at a career-high – or close to it – across the board.
But that’s not all.
“He’s playing a different position this year,” Baskin said. “It’s not even like he’s playing the same spot he played last year. They’re asking him to play center, and he’s doing the best job that he can and it’s an All-Star year. I’ll tell you who I do think likes him is LeBron James – because when I watch this team play, the only guy that’s trying to feed him the ball is LeBron. I thought it was a problem last year with Kyrie where Kyrie didn’t feed him either. But no, he’s not being fed the ball. Jose Calderon feeds him the ball. There are some guys out there that will. But I think LeBron genuinely likes Kevin.”
Which is why Baskin expects Love to remain a Cavalier.
“I think when it’s all said and done in the next 10 days, I wouldn’t be surprised if they stripped this thing down as much as they can, try to rebuild it here on the fly during the season knowing that LeBron doesn’t have to come back, and they stick with their core – and the core is Kevin,” Baskin said. “Kevin is a part of that, and Kevin will be a part of that. If they trade him, I’ll be surprised.”
If the Cavs don’t right the ship, though, James may leave Cleveland – again. Is it likely that he bolts for Los Angeles in the offseason?
“If you had asked me before this week, I would have said, no, I didn’t think he was leaving,” Baskin said. “But I don’t know why he’d want to stick around for this if I were him. I don’t. I wouldn’t want to stick around. Go find something else. But LeBron is part of the problem, too. He doesn’t hustle all the time. My heart’s telling me he’s still going to stay and all the L.A. stuff is garbage and it’s guys writing stories for clicks and people thinking that they know more than they probably do. LeBron’s been really mellow through this thing. There have been times in the past when LeBron would be blaming everybody and say, ‘Get me help. What’s the front office doing?’ He’s not. He keeps saying that our best basketball is ahead of us. So he’s been different in this stretch where they normally suck in January.”